One of the movies I’m anticipating most this fall is definitely Spike Lee’s reimagining of the ultraviolent South Korean thriller Oldboy. Park Chan-wook’s original was a relentlessly brutal and shocking film, and how American audiences will connect to the unsettling storyline should be interesting.
A new crop of photos for Oldboy has popped up online today, including shots of a very angry-looking Josh Brolin, a bloody hammer, and Elizabeth Olsen. You can check them out below.
For those unfamiliar with the film, Josh Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, an advertising executive who is suddenly kidnapped by an unknown enemy and held for twenty years in solitary confinement before being inexplicably released. As he tries to uncover the reasons behind his imprisonment, he realizes that his struggles for freedom and knowledge are far from over. Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Michael Imperioli and Samuel L. Jackson also star in the film.
Lee’s version has an American setting and cast, but whether the director will adhere to the original’s disturbing ending remains to be seen. No matter which way Lee chooses to play it, I’m confident that his version of Oldboy will be an intense, visceral treat. Lee has shown that he can handle action with Inside Man, and he certainly never shies away from controversial subject matter (see: Do the Right Thing and last year’s Red Hook Summer), so I have high hopes for his take on the brutal story.
So, what do these photos tell us? I’m not getting much story from them, though fans of the original Oldboy will be nodding their heads at the squid and mentally preparing themselves for the carnage ahead at the sight of that bloody hammer. Other than that, we’ve got a quick glimpse at Elizabeth Olsen, and the general sense that Josh Brolin is pretty angry about the whole imprisonment thing, probably partially because he was forced to eat terrible Chinese food and grow out his facial hair without so much as a comb.
As we get closer to Oldboy‘s November release date, more information about the movie is sure to emerge, but I hope fans of the original can keep quiet about its massive third-act twist so as not to spoil it for viewers discovering the story for the first time.
What do you think? Does Spike Lee’s Oldboy pique your interest as an update of a wholly unique entry in the revenge fantasy genre, or is it just another pointless remake destined to be woefully inferior to its predecessor? Does the story or cast intrigue you, or will you be skipping Oldboy? Let us know in the comments section.
Oldboy opens November 27.
Source: The Playlist